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INTRODUCTORY  ESSAY.                                    49
and limitation of genera and the higher, groups of plants.
One volume only'has been published, the work having been
interrupted by Dr. Wight's return to India in 1834. It con-
tains the whole of Thylamiflora, and of Catydflorce down to
the commencement of Composite, including descriptions of
. nearly 1400 species. A smaller work, entitled '-Contributions
to the Botany of India/ contains the peninsular Composite,
elaborated by De Candolle; the Asclepiadea, by Wight and
Arnott, with the addition of the extra-peninsular species col-
lected by Wallich and Royle, by Dr. Wight alone , and the
Cyperacea of Wallich, Wight, and Royle, by Nees von Esen-
beck, with valuable annotations by Arnott. Dr. Wight has
also'published in '"Hooker's Botanical Miscellany' some ex-
cellent descriptions and plates of Indian plants, and Dr. Arnott
has communicated various detached memoirs to the botanical
periodicals of the day.
On his return to Madras-Dr. Wight conceived the idea of
carrying out, on a very extensive scale, an illustrated work on
the plants of India, and in 1838 the c Illustrations of Indian
 Botany* were commenced, and soon after were followed by
the ' Icones Plantanim Indise Orientalist'' The former work,
which is furnished with' coloured plates, contains a series of
memoirs on the Natural Orders, full of important informa-
tion with regard to species, and valuable notes on their affi-
nities : it terminated with the end of the second volume and
the 182nd plate, in 1850. In the Icones, the letterpress usu-
ally contains only the descriptions of the species, though in
the later volumes occasional general details are given, especially
in those natural orders which are not included in the Illustra-
tions. The plates of the Icones arc uncolourcd, and amount
to 2101, a surprising number, when we bear in mind that
they were commenced only fifteen years ago, and take auto
consideration the excellence of the execution- of the later
cues. In the e Spicilegium Ncilghcrrcnse,' a third illustrated
work, there arc coloured copies of a portion of the" plates of
the Icones, with much valuable matter relo&ve to the Nilgbrn